Advertisement

Motorists caught using mobiles to face higher penalties

The Government looks to raise fines from £100 to £150 and issue four penalty points instead of three per offence

Driving using mobile phone

Motorists caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel are set to face higher fines along with four instead of three penalty points for each offence, under new proposals by the Department for Transport.

As previously reported by Auto Express, the Government is looking at increasing the fixed penalty notice from £100 to £150 and raising the number of points each offence carries in the hope of reducing road accidents and fatalities caused by distracted drivers. The fixed penalty notice was already raised from £60 to £100 in 2013.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The new proposals also take into account HGV drivers who would receive six points instead of the current three for each mobile phone related offence.

With four penalty points motorists would only need to rack up three offences before reaching 12 penalty points, at which time their licence would be disqualified. DVLA records show that 399 drivers currently have three consecutive mobile phone offences on their record.

And Suzette Davenport, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead officer on road policing, wants legislation to go a step further. She's called on a wider two-tier system for business drivers - not just HGVs.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_narrow","fid":"144451","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"280","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"420"}}]]

Davenport's plans would see workers like delivery drivers or salesman get a ban after just two offences. She said: "If you get caught twice on a mobile phone during a set period of time you should receive a short-term ban.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"If you cannot conduct your professional life or business, that is really going to impact on people and I hope it would be a deterrent."

According to the Government, the fear of losing your licence is a more powerful factor in motivating good driver behaviour than fixed penalty notices. During a 2014 survey in England and Scotland, 1.6 per cent of motorists were found using a mobile behind the wheel – up from 1.4 per cent in 2009.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Best dash-cams to buy now

The proposal states: “The primary objective is to encourage first time offenders to opt for remedial training courses where they are offered as an alternative. The secondary objective is to act as a deterrent to offending and raise the ‘fear of getting caught’.

“The aim of this policy is not to overly punish first time offenders who genuinely make a mistake, but to come down hard on those who repeatedly offend and show no care for other road users. 

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We are delivering common-sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads." The consultation for the proposals will run from January 26 2016 to March 16 2016. 

How can the Government stop people from using mobile phones at the wheel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences
News

Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences

An estimated 1.4 million drivers who would otherwise have had to renew their photocards have been granted an automatic extension
3 Jun 2020
Concerns as rise of connected cars coincides with sharp increase in cyber attacks
Consumer news

Concerns as rise of connected cars coincides with sharp increase in cyber attacks

Some 67 per cent of new cars registered in the UK are ‘connected’, with automotive cyber attacks rising rapidly
27 May 2020
Driving eyesight rules explained
Consumer news

Driving eyesight rules explained

What is the minimum vision standard required to drive on UK roads? And how can you check your own eyesight before driving?
26 May 2020
Over a million unroadworthy vehicles set to return to the roads
Consumer news

Over a million unroadworthy vehicles set to return to the roads

Nearly 1.1 million vehicles given a six-month MoT extension are projected to have dangerous or major defects
22 May 2020

Most Popular

New 2020 BMW 4 Series arrives with bold new look and a huge grille
BMW 4 Series

New 2020 BMW 4 Series arrives with bold new look and a huge grille

Imposing grille leads the way as the new BMW 4 Series takes a new design direction away from its 3 Series sibling
2 Jun 2020
New Tesla Model Y 2020 review
Tesla Model Y

New Tesla Model Y 2020 review

The new Tesla Model Y has the potential to be the EV brand’s most successful model yet
4 Jun 2020
UK electric vehicle drivers face charging point struggle
Electric cars

UK electric vehicle drivers face charging point struggle

The UK’s EV charging infrastructure is still underdeveloped according to new nationwide study
2 Jun 2020